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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton issues public apology to Bures-raised Alex Albon for costly crash with Red Bull car at Brazilian Grand Prix




World champion Lewis Hamilton apologised to Alex Albon for denying the Bures-raised driver his maiden F1 podium in Brazil on Sunday, writes Angus Williams.

In the penultimate lap of the race at Interlagos with Albon in second, Hamilton tried to pass the F1 rookie on the inside but hit his rear wheel, causing the Red Bull car to spin out.

It caused Albon to slip from second to 14th, while Hamilton finished in third before later being given a five-second penalty for the collision, meaning he was demoted to seventh.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool) (22094764)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool) (22094764)

But Hamilton was quick to admit responsibility in his media duties.

“I massively apologise to Albon, I went for a move, the gap was there but obviously it closed at the end. Completely my fault,” he said.

Albon, a former pupil at Littlegarth School in Nayland, who started fifth on the grid, said: “Obviously Lewis had good grip once he pitted and I think he would’ve got me eventually into turn one, but I thought worse case scenario we had third.

“I went into the corner deep just to cover him so he didn’t get any ideas, and then there’s a blind spot and obviously we made contact. Of course he didn’t do it on purpose, it’s just one of those things and today wasn’t meant to be.”

Albon’s team-mate, Max Verstappen, eventually won the race.

Christian Horner, Red Bull team president, said: “That was a one-two finish for the team and second place for Alex taken away. But nonetheless Alex has driven a great Grand Prix and he can leave Brazil with his head held high.”

* Clare-raised Ben Barker was also thwarted from a top-five finish by contact from a rival in the 4 Hours of Shanghai in the FIA World Endurance Championship. But the competitive performance bodes well for the Gulf Racing team ahead of next month’s trip to Bahrain.


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